COVID-19 has erased job certainty and leaving us stressed, anxious and fearful about what the future holds.
Those temporarily laid off worry about getting called back. Those working worry about getting laid off. According to a report by Statics Canada, more than a third of Canadian workers fear losing their job because of COVID-19.
According to Monster.ca, our brain hates uncertainties—, particularly job uncertainty, says Bryan Robinson, psychotherapist and author of #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life. “Scientists have found that job uncertainty creates more anxiety and takes a greater toll on your health than actually losing the job.”
Robinson says that your brain wants to know what’s around the next career corner to keep you out of harm’s way. “It always assumes the worst… You’re hardwired to overestimate threats and underestimate your ability to handle them—all in the name of survival.”
Here’s how to survive and thrive while crushing job uncertainty:
Do some problem-solving and planning.
Active problem-solving and planning help manage uncertainty. If your mind often spirals into all the what-ifs, sit down and answer them, advises Dr. Vivien Lee, psychologist and founder of traumarecoverygrowth.com.
Take action over the things you can control. Set time aside regularly to plan, she says. Look for ways to boost your career and confidence in uncertain times.
Learn new skills.
Facing this new and uncertain normal means mustering the courage to learn new skills and make significant changes, says Robin Fisher Roffer, chief brand strategist at bigfishmarketing.com and author of Your No Fear Career. Now is the time, especially if you’re waiting to get called back to work, to get ahead of the game by amping up your skillset, including your digital skills, agile thinking, and interpersonal skills.
“The fast-growing digital economy is increasing the demand for highly-skilled technical workers. Look for online classes at universities to help you sharpen in this area,” Roffer says.
Add some agile thinking to your repertoire. “In a period of sustained uncertainty, where economic, political, and market conditions can change suddenly, agile thinking and the ability to prepare for multiple scenarios is vital,” says Roffer.
Hone your interpersonal and communication skills. “Human resources executives believe that co-creativity and brainstorming skills will be greatly in demand, as well relationship building and teaming skills,” says Roffer, adding that there are countless books and online programs on this subject.
Taking a diploma program to learn one or more of these skills is an adjustment that will be well worth your investment of time and money.
Be proactive at work.
Do more, and you’ll possibly ruminate less about possible career catastrophe. Think of what actions you can take to be seen as someone moving the business forward, Roffer says.
Anticipate and be proactive in your work—say yes to all requests. Work at odd hours and over the weekend, if needed, she says. “These are crazy times, and you need to be available. Don’t wait for this to all be over. Treat this moment as the new normal and show up accordingly.”
Roffer adds: “To be seen as ‘essential,’ workers need to stay centred and live in the present moment—not long for the past or fearful of the future.”
Reduce stress with self-care.
Self-care is your first defence against chronic uncertainty—you’re doing yourself no favours by putting yourself last! “Self-care makes your use of time more sustainable. Healthy eating, rest and regular exercise give you the stamina to withstand any threat to your survival” and continue to give to others, says Robinson.
Robinson recommends encouraging therapeutic activities that rejuvenate your mind and body and restore your energy and peace of mind.
Navigate the uncertainties by enrolling one of our diploma programs. If you are a resident of Ontario, you may receive up to $28,000 in funding to upgrade your skills so that you can get back to work FAST. Email us at [email protected] or visit this page to learn more.